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Looking for a back pain friend

Txlady57TTxlady57 Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in New Member Introductions
I am a retired Tx teacher, age 57. In 2005, I had fusion surgery at T11, T12, L1, L2 and was successful. Now, for the last year my lower back pain has been unbearable at times. Just had a CAT Scan done last week followed by a MRI. The radiologist wanted to rule out cancer when they spotted a dime sized lytic hemangioma on L5. They ruled out cancer...many prayers answered...but told me I have no disc left between L3 and L4. I have an appt. with my back surgeon in three days in Dallas. I live 4 hours away. I am currently on 3 10 mg. Hydrocodone daily which does not help the pain anymore. They have tried Lyrica and Cymbalta on me....bad side effects. The tests revealed spinal stenosis, DDD, spinal arthritis, etc. I have gotten to the point where I will do anything to relieve the pain. Ice packs more than heat tend to alieve the crippling pain for a few minutes. Hydrocodone makes me hyperactive; therefore, I cannot take it at night. I do not know what my surgeon will suggest. My hometown doctor does not believe a back shot will help...I will try anything at this point. I had the spinal shots three times before my first surgery. I just need a friend/friends that understand back pain. It has turned a usually happy Nana into a grouchy wife. Hugs to all of you.


  • Welcome to Spine-Health. In addition to all the wonderful articles and videos on this site, the members of the forum are very understanding, knowledgeable and supportive. You've found a great place to make friends that understand your pain and with it, the change of attitude - we're all grouchy (just kidding).

    I'm sorry to hear what you've been through, but you'll find many on these forums that understand and can relate.

    So I just wanted to say Hi and welcome you to SH. Hopefully you'll make many friends, make many posts and rack up those points - they're very valuable (not).

    Take care and I hope you work your way around these forums talking with others here. Other spineys really understand what other spineys go through, unlike most people.

  • sorry to hear about you pain problems but you are in safe hands here there are many in a similar position living there lives in pain {wishing they were back to normal health} i am sure there will be many that welcome you on here i hope that you doctor can get you pain under control as i know only too well have awful intractable pain is to live with
    tony {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can.. we are very close in age and i have a five year old neice that stays with me on weekends so i can understand what you mean about being a "grouchy wife!!" my pain levels go way up and by the end of the weekend i am just in unbelievable pain.. i try and play on the floor and do what little kids want to play and do but it is so difficult and they only understand "i can't do that" so much!!! i don't want to keep saying that!!!! anyway, i hope that being around others who feel as you do will help you to feel better.. good luck with your back appointment. that is a long drive and i am sure that in itself will be difficult!! i hope something positive comes from your appointment.. Jenny :)
  • and welcome to Spine Health.
    You will probably make lots of back pain friends here. :H

    I am a teaching assistant (56) and am still working. I had a fusion surgery at L4/L5 18 months ago, but am now having problems with my neck, and it looks like I am going to need surgery at that level at some point. My thoracic level also gives me trouble sometimes, but I will try to avoid ever having surgery there - it sounds horrible!

    I have been looking after my 4 year old granddaughter this weekend as her Mum is in hospital. They have been trying to induce her baby, but he is not playing ball! I am feeling very tired but have stood up to it quite well. I have enjoyed it and love feeling that I have been able to help.

    One of the things you will find here, is a bunch of friendly people who really understand what it is to live with spinal problems. Just knowing you are not alone is helpful.

    Looking forward to getting to know you better. :-)

  • Just want to say thank you for your kind welcome to this forum. I have found that most people do not understand how crippling spinal pain can be....they think it is just a muscle backache. My MRI showed nerve root compression, so I imagine that is where my intense pain is coming from right now. I had to quit teaching school at age 54 after 30 years due to my back. I do feel BLESSED though, as I could have something much worse. In September, my mammogram came back suspicious...so I do feel thankful I do not have cancer at this time. My two grown children live 800 miles away as well as my two grandbabies. I so wish I felt like flying there more often.

    Do any of you feel depressed at times because your lifestyle has changed? I used to be an avid tennis player, walker, 15 mile a day bike rider, etc. My hubby is so sweet; yet, he gets upset with me when I don't feel like riding bikes, going country western dancing, etc. Sometimes at night, I will hide my crying from him...it just hurts so much. I can't imagine a day without constant pain. My Hydrocodone does not HELP at all. I will add Advil to it...but no luck. I don't overdose with any of it, but sometimes I am tempted to take two just to see if it would help.

    I have told everyone I would NEVER consider back surgery again as the first one was so painful and long. However, I am to the point that I am ready. Anyone feel like this? I only have retired teacher insurance which means me paying a lot of it myself, but I am willing to try it. Is there an operation where they can insert an artifical disc? I will do more reading on here. I already feel better just reading your posts. Again, thank you and bunches of big hugs from Texas! All of you will be in my prayers tonight.
  • Yes, most of us suffer from depression at the loss of our old lives, but many get past it when they understand deep down that it's just a new life, not the loss of an old one.

    I take my last norco (10/325) at about 7 pm and then take two plus a muscle relaxant (valium) in the morning and it seems to keep things at bay. I'm prescribed 6 norcos a day and rarely take that much (except lately with a very, very busy work schedule). But with 12 hours in between doses, it seems to help. I do sleep well, however.

    One thing we've discovered when talking to people is that you always refer to your pain and problems as being spine-related, not back or neck pain. That seems to help people understand that it's more than just the normal backache that they also have.

    Anyway, just wanted to throw all that in there. Take care and feel free to PM me any time if I can be of any help to you.

  • >:D< Hi Carla,
    Welcome from Chicago here, I'm also in pain 24/7 and no meds take it all away. I also take norco when it's screaming bad. Which is most of the time.
    This way of life has hit me hard few yrs ago.... I thought I was just getting few pains here n there.
    I had fusion back in 06 and really I was doing great, but I was so stupid and had to get this part time job that of course was a lot of lifting.
    For me I have found different ways of living, day to day and trying to do anything I can to keep me going.
    It's the hardest for me with the winter coming, the depression is at it's worse for me.

    Once your doc maybe pain mang can help or just trying different meds. For me I got sick off so many meds.
    Tried so many, so kinda in same boat. I do some yoga and my savor is water.
    I found a heated indoor pool, now I don't do laps, but found my library helpful with books on exercise for certain pain areas. When i'm just floating from a kick board it's just the greatest relief for me.
    I was lucky my mom and hubby gave me a yr pass. I will be sad in few months when that is up.
    I figure I'm in pain laying ,sittings my worse position, so why not try keep moving much as you can.
    It sure would help you if you could visit with your grandkids more often.
    I to when i'm down and pains at it's worst kinda hide from my family I just don't want my son and hubby and my mom (she now lives with me )see me crying and often I yell and scream I get it all out. I often read post or try the chat room and I see how many are so much worse off than I. I am blessed my husband is sticking around. and I have my kids 3 grown and 1 is 11 .
    Please keep posting and maybe I shall see you in our chat room.
    I'm so glad you found this great sight, it sure does help. You can see that soon you will be helping others out.
    chat soon new spiney friend >:D<
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • Wanted to also welcome you here! Sorry to hear that you are now having more trouble with your back.

    Hopefully with talking to your doctor they will be able to prescribe something new to help with your pain, or adjust the med you are on. Have you tried a tens unit to help?

    I too get down when I see how much my life has changed since my back problems started at 39 (job, sports,socializing, travel) but I am also thankfull that it is not something life threatning.

    With your children, grandchildren have you tried talking with them over the computer, where you can actually see them on the webcam while you are talking to them? Helps to make them seem closer.

    Look forward to getting to know you and hearing more from you.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Sorry for your pain, but glad you posted and you have found the best site ever!
    For me more than half the battle has been in realizing I am not crazy and there are people who really understand.
    The aloneness and lack of understanding from my people in my life re' the pain, has been so relieved by this site!

    For me, yeah I'm working on the depression. But I think I'm getting a handle on it. Not easy, but trying to accept the new me everyday, and trying to accept the fact that others are unable to understand.
    I went through phases of trying to get them to understand..but ended up more frustrated and hurt from their reactions to me. I have loss lots of friends and family relations have shattered.

    But I am grateful for the few that are standing by me and understanding the best they can. And this site a God send on a variety of levels.

    I hope the same for you. Keep posting, vent, questions..whatever you want. You're not alone and I hope that helps!
    Nice to meet you and look forward to chattig later.
    Take care!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    ..re' your pain meds not helping...I would let the doc know. There are other meds or doc may increase your dosage. There are a variety of reasons not to mess with the dosage on your own.
    Give the doc a chance to help you and your pain.

    For what it's worth!
    Take care!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hi Carla,
    Welcome I hope you find as much peace and comfort in this site as I do. I am sure you will. I understand your pain and frustration. I am here if you need to talk vent... and I can completely relate to the grumpy WIfe my poor hubby as well as my Grand kids and children, they sure do pay the price for me not taking care of my back when I was younger...
    If you need anything just message ... we are all here to support each other.
  • Tomorrow I visit my spinal surgeon in Dallas with my MRI and Cat Scan disk in my hands. I don't know what he will suggest. I am ready for anything and I trust this doctor.

    I understand what you say about lying still; however, I still hurt then! I am NEVER without pain except when I am really asleep (which isn't too often.) Do you feel stiff at all with your spine? I am finding that I cannot even put on my panties (sorry if TMI), without sitting down. I get off balance. I can't even paint my own toe nails. lol It could be worse. right?

    We have a water exercise building here in this small town that is run by the hospital. I am going to join. Everyone tells me that only "gannies" go, but hey, I love all ages. My back is like a 90 year old back. As long as I can walk, I am thankful.

    Does anyone have any medications that help the sharp pain? I take Hydrocodone twice a day and Advil or Aleve at night. I take Benadryl to help me sleep as sleep medications do not work on me. The doctor gave me muscle relaxers; yet, they do not seem to do any good at all. It is not my muscles I have a problem with...it is my discs and spine. I tried Lyrica and Cymbalta....oh my....with both I swelled up like a marshmellow and had welps on my body...so no to them. I have even tried Watkins back linament that they used in the old days, Aspercreme with heat, ice packs....anyone know of anything else?
    I don't want to get on Morphine. The doctors were surprised in the hospital that Morphine did not work on me. They finally found a drug that was barely given. I just thought someone might have an idea.

    Well, tomorrow I should know more. My appt. is at 4:30 p.m. and after the Dallas/Fort Worth traffic, we MIGHT be home by 11 p.m. Hubby might speed up for home to see our Rangers play ball on TV.

    Again, thanks spinal buddies. I look forward to reading everyone's stories. Many hugs and less pain to all of you!
  • I can't believe I have never thought of using my computer to talk to my grandbabies. Isn't it called Skype or something? My daughter is a teacher and I bet between the two of us we could figure it out. lol I call them all the time, but they are so busy....with soccer, volleyball, and baseball....that I only get voicemail. It doesn't upset me, as I have been there when school is in session. I used to be the same way when I taught...just always on the move! No wonder I wore a size 6 THEN. teehee I gave all my cute clothes to my tiny mother who wears them.

    Must close and finish the washing.

    Bunches of hugs!
  • I use Skype all the time, I love it and Matthew my one year old grandson tries to kiss the computer as soon as he sees me and hears my voice it is so cute.
    Sometimes we just leave our pc on skype so it is like we are all at the same house. It is the best ...
  • Wanted to wish you all the best tomorrow at your appointment with the surgeon. You have a long drive there and back.

    Hope you can discus your medication issues with your doctor, maybe they can try you on something else for your pain. There are long acting meds that can be taken which help to give you a steady amount of medication, with breakthrough (short acting) when needed.

    I am on MS Contin(morphine) and I too was unsure about taking it, and although I still have a lot of pain, it is helpful to have the long acting.

    I use skype to talk to my son who is university, he set it up for me and I love it because I can "see" him as well as talk to him.

    Will be thinking about you tomorrow, please let us know how it goes.

    >:D< Karen

    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
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